Dave Challinor provides Hartlepool United injury latest ahead of Barnet trip and the 'massive boost' of having attacking duo back in contention

Dave Challinor has praised the desire and work rate of his key players to get back fit and fighting for a starting place.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 11:47 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 1:44 pm
Josh Hawkes of Hartlepool United celebrates scoring their first goal during the Vanarama National League match between Aldershot Town and Hartlepool United at the EBB Stadium, Aldershot on Saturday 12th October 2019. (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)
Josh Hawkes of Hartlepool United celebrates scoring their first goal during the Vanarama National League match between Aldershot Town and Hartlepool United at the EBB Stadium, Aldershot on Saturday 12th October 2019. (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)

Luke Molyneux is pushing for his first start of the campaign and Josh Hawkes has also recovered from injury and nearing a return to the XI.

“It’s a massive boost to have Luke and Josh back in contention now,” said United manager Dave Challinor.

“Mols is a victim of not having the game we would have liked him to have [in the Durham Challenge Cup] which is disappointing.

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“What he has done is worked his socks off, he came in yesterday and did extra on his day off and is really showing me that he wants to play and be in the team.

“He just needs to keep working, posing us problems and wait for an opportunity which undoubtedly will come. I hope it doesn’t so quickly in a way because it means we’re playing well and the players who are starting are continuing to do well which will hopefully be the case.

“But we know that Luke can be a big player for us and make a big impact and, along with Josh, what they both bring is a goal threat in terms of creating and scoring. To have them back involved even on the bench is really positive from my perspective.”

Luke Williams (hamstring), Fraser Kerr (back), Michael Raynes (thigh), Luke James (groin) and Adam Bale (knee) are all expected to be unavailable for Pools’ upcoming matches.

“The treatment room is emptying a little bit to be fair,” admitted Challinor.

“The ones we’ve still got in there are a little bit more longer term, I wouldn’t say anyone is really at that last stage of rehab if you like.

“Fraser is probably the closest but with him, it’s just about his back settling down but the other three are pretty long term ones.

“Luke Williams, it’s just looking day to day into when we’ll get him back on the grass.

“The more players we have back and the more options we have then that gives me good problems.”